It feels like Jacob Banks is one of those singers who has been around for a long time. You probably know him as a featured artist on tracks by Chase and Status, Wretch 32 and Sigma, with his strong, soulful voice. But now the Nigerian born, Birmingham raised singer has released his first full-length album. Featuring some singles you’ve probably heard before, this is a promising debut. He has said the album “is about celebrating the things that make us who we are, the good, the bad, and the questionable.”
Banks is more than just another soulful male vocalist though. He incorporates elements of R&B, garage, and dancehall into this album, taking you on a journey with him. It’s these elements that have seen him go from strength to strength over the last five years or so. He was the first unsigned artist to appear in the Radio 1 Live Lounge and then signed with Interscope Records, appearing on Alicia Keys UK tour.
For me, some of the highlights on this album are the collaborations with Bibi Bourelly, NANA and Seinabo Sey. All of these are carefully produced tracks, incorporating all the elements we have come to expect from Banks over the years.
This is a record which is definitely worth listening to. There are a number of artists trying to do what Banks is trying to do here at the moment, but he offers a deeper and perhaps grittier version than some comparable artists. He is also about to embark on a European and North American tour, with UK dates including St Luke’s in Glasgow and the Roundhouse in Camden. If you can catch these, it will definitely be worth it.